Miriam Sue Dudley’s Library Workbooks: Chicano Library Program and Library Instruction Workbook
In 1970, Miriam (Mimi) Sue Dudley developed a set of 20 research scenarios with self-paced exercises, arranged in search strategy order, for a UCLA Chicano student support group. Questions were varied in each Chicano Library Program workbook to prevent cheating. Each exercise required students to use reference sources from an annotated list in order to answer questions. The workbook was utilized for a number of UCLA courses (about 2500 students per year). Mimi revised and enhanced the workbook over a 10-year period, culminating with her Library Instruction Workbook in 1981. This model allowed large universities or small colleges with limited staff help their students learn how to conduct information research on their own. Many college and university librarians in the U.S. and in other countries copied or adapted this model during the 1970s and early 1980s.
During the 1980s and into the 2000s, a number of academic libraries replaced workbook programs with “one-shot” synchronous guest sessions, more limited in scope than the workbook. From the mid-1990s on, librarians also developed online tutorials, some of which mimicked the workbook model. Mimi Dudley’s workbook approach represents a highly significant model in the development of what is now termed “information literacy instruction.”
The American Library Association ACRL Instruction Section’s Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award
recognizes Mimi’s “pioneering efforts in the field of bibliographic instruction [that] led to the formation of the ACRL Instruction Section (formerly ACRL Bibliographic Instruction Section).”